Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
When my grandmother died, I felt like someone had blasted a giant crater into the core of my life—a black hole that threatened to suck away all the joy left to me. I was in graduate school at the time—lucky, I suppose, to have had a grandmother in my life so long. I didn’t feel lucky. I had lost the one person in my family who wasn’t threatened by my ambition. My parents loved me, but I was always an odd sort of specimen to them. Grandma loaned me the money for my first car from her savings—giving it to me with a notebook in which she had carefully detailed my payback plan—plus interest. For her, that I would succeed was a foregone conclusion. She had never accepted defeat from life–even when life turned horrific and cruel, and she didn’t expect me to do less.
When I watch LONG ISLAND MEDIUM on TV, I realize mine wasn’t the only grandmother to fulfill the role of lifeline and confidante. Over and over I hear someone say, “I could talk to my grandmother about anything. Every day I wish she were still here.” I’m sorry for you, Dear Reader, that I’m not her. But maybe I can help. I am a grandmother of five or six, depending on your definitions. I also have a doctoral education in communication and a lifetime of experience in education at all levels. I hope that qualifies me to be an acceptable substitute for the understanding person you’ve lost…or never had. You be the judge.
In case you’re wondering, I don’t have all the answers. I might have to refer some problems to a different kind of professional. I’m not terribly domestic. (I’m willing to give you my family recipe for pie crust, but I can’t make it work.) I’m the kind of person who wants to make life better for as many people as possible. You don’t have to agree with my perspectives. Good grandmothers are past all that control stuff. Let’s just chat. I don’t have an agenda I want to push…or a religion…or a way of life. Your choices are yours and so are your consequences or outcomes. But if you’d like to talk something over with someone who won’t hold what you say against you or secretly try to manipulate you, I’m your Gramma. If you’d like to know what the senior generation thinks about anything, just ask. I’m as typical as anyone, I guess. And I’m honest.
A dear friend asked me why I would want to take on writing to perfect strangers—especially since my grandmother died so very long ago. Why now? I lost my mother this year–and my equines and most of what I respected about my profession. Meanwhile, my job filled with stress that ranged from heights of lightning-seared responsibility to a dense thicket of trivial stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff scratching and stabbing and draining away my emotional reserves until I felt like a fly carcass in a web. I think of myself as a powerful, positive person–and I am–but I couldn’t help wondering how I could’ve coped if I hadn’t had a few loving souls to hold me up and brush me off.
On the not-at-all-instructive side, I have so much living to share—experiences that were funny or tragic, confounding or enlightening—experiences that are an astounding combination of all of that and more. I have new adventures planned—some with my adorable husband of nearly forty years, some with my extended family, some just for me. This is the year I finally understand on a visceral level what it means to grow old—the good parts and the bad. This is the year I truly feel the heart of the universe because I have a teeny slice within me. I’d like to share journeys with you, if you don’t mind. I know you’ve been down some long paths of your own and you have your own perspectives. Grammas aren’t simply mothers. Some aren’t actually mothers at all. They’re friends and sisters and wives. Some are very young. Some aren’t women. What’s important is that we touch. We are magic together. We’ll hold hands and defy the darkness.